If you want to get the most out of your favorite music or podcast, noise-canceling headphones are the way to go. They block out ambient noise around you, making it easy to focus on what’s playing — something that’s especially useful when flying, working at a coffee shop, or just being out in public. We’ve rounded up eight of the best ones you can get for less than $100, including the Soundcore Life Q20 as our top overall pick.
Best Overall: Soundcore Life Q20
Anker’s Soundcore brand has been at the forefront of the wireless headphone and earbud space, and the Life Q20 headphones are another reminder of why Soundcore is one of the most compelling players in the game.
Using a hybrid active noise cancellation system comprised of four ANC microphones, an internal feedback microphone, and an external feedforward microphone, the Soundcore Life Q20 can block up to 90% of ambient noise. That’s primarily focused on the low and mid-end of sound frequencies, allowing the Q20 to effectively silence the low rumble of an airplane engine or blowing air conditioner.
40mm drivers allow for powerful sound, including Soundcore’s BassUp tech that strengthens the impact of any bass in your music. Battery life is also excellent, with the Q20 giving you 40 hours of total playback. When it does come time to charge up, plugging the headphones in for just five minutes is enough for four hours of use. The only real downside? Not too many color choices.
Regardless of price, the Soundcore Life Q20 are legitimately among the best noise-canceling headphones you can buy.
- 40mm dynamic drivers
- Blocks a wide range of low and mid-range frequencies
- BassUp technology for more powerful bass
- 40-hour battery life per charge
- Five-minute charge = four hours of playback
- Only available in two colors
Soundcore Life Q20
- From $60 at Amazon
- $60 at Walmart
- $65 at Newegg
Checking all the boxes
The Soundcore Life Q20 are some of the best headphones in this niche, offering impressive ANC, sound, and battery life.
Best Alternative: TaoTronics BH090
A great alternative to the Soundcore Life Q20 are the TaoTronics BH090. The BH090 match the Q20 on almost every level, making this a worthy competitor.
Sound quality is excellent on the TaoTronics headphones, being nice and balanced without any distortion/rattling in the low-end. Bass isn’t the punchiest, but overall, everything sounds great on these headphones. The active noise cancelation is also a big plus, performing the best when blocking out low-frequency sounds.
The Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connection is as solid as you could ask for, the 35-hour battery life is more than enough for long-haul flights, and you can quickly get an additional two hours of playback with only five minutes of charging. The plastic design featured on the BH090 isn’t the most premium-feeling we’ve ever come across, but it gets the job done.
- Easy-to-use ANC
- Reliable Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connection
- Total battery life of 35 hours
- Fast charging speeds
- Plastic design isn’t the nicest out there
- $54 at Amazon
Also worth a look
Between the effective noise-canceling and well-balanced sound, the BH090 are well worth your dollars.
Best Value: LETSCOM H081
All of the headphones on this list give you a lot of bang-for-your-buck, but none go quite as far in this regard as the LETSCOM H081. If you’re trying to spend as little as possible while still getting a quality pair of headphones, these are for you.
Design-wise, the H081 look good. They have a very simple design that’s available in Black or Black/Red, and there aren’t any gaudy logos or glossy plastic to bring them down. The headphones are also comfy to wear thanks to the well-padded headband.
LETSCOM’s powerful drivers and Hi-Fi sound mean the H081 sound a lot better than you’re likely expecting. Everything has an enjoyable balance to it, and when you combine that with effective noise cancelation, the end result is darn great. We’re also quite pleased with the 35-hour battery life, which is on par with much more expensive options.
- Unbeatable price
- Comfortable to wear
- Hi-Fi sound with powerful bass
- ANC works as you’d expect
- 35-hour battery life
- Not many color options
- Unflashy design
- $40 at Amazon
We don’t know how LETSCOM can afford to sell the H081 for this cheap, but we sure are glad that it does.
Best Colors: COWIN E7
If you want your headphones to stand out from the crowd, COWIN has you covered with the E7. The plastic used for the earcups is on the cheap side of things, but the outstanding colors more than make up for it. You can get the basic black or white for something subdued, or go with blue, green, purple, or red. No matter which one you choose, all of them look incredible.
COWIN also gets things right when it comes to noise-canceling and audio quality. Similar to pretty much every pair of headphones on this list, the E7’s ANC shines with lower frequency sounds, and music is played with a balance that should please everyone. Battery life is another win, with the 30-hour endurance being ideal for travel.
Should anything go wrong with the E7 after your purchase, COWIN covers the headphones with an 18-month warranty.
- Legit noise cancelation
- Sound quality is great
- 30-hour battery
- Excellent color options
- 18-month warranty
- Cheap plastic
- From $60 at Amazon
- From $60 at Walmart
- From $50 at Newegg
Make yourself stand out
With six gorgeous colors at your disposal, the COWIN E7 will make sure you look great while rocking out to your music.
Best Battery: Mpow H17
For those times when you find yourself in a long car ride or international flight, having a pair of headphones that you can rely on to not die halfway through your trip are essential. There are plenty of headphones on this list with good battery life, but the Mpow H17 take things a step further.
How much further? Mpow promises 45 hours of use time per charge with the H17, which is mind-boggling regardless of price. Even better, just ten minutes of charging gives you two hours of additional playback. If you ask us, that’s darn impressive.
Outside of the legendary battery life, the Mpow H17 also deliver great audio quality thanks to 40mm drivers that kick out deep, powerful bass. The headphones can fold up to be travel-friendly, there’s a physical switch to control the active noise canceling, and the ear cushions are nice and soft for comfy listening sessions.
- 45-hour battery life is unmatched
- Super soft ear cushions
- Deep bass with 40mm drivers
- Physical switch for ANC
- Fast charging times
- Uses the older Bluetooth 4.1
- From $47 at Amazon
- $47 at Walmart
With a promise of 45-hour battery life, the Mpow H17 will allow you to keep jamming for hours and hours on end.
Best Comfort: Mpow H19 IPO
Sticking with Mpow, the company has another pair of cheap noise canceling headphones that are worth a look. They’re the Mpow H19 IPO, and you’ll see they offer an amazing deal once you see everything that’s on offer.
It all starts with the design, which is something Mpow has proven to be really good at. The H19 IPO are available in two colors (Black and Black/Red), and while they aren’t overly eye-catching, they have a simple and clean aesthetic that’ll look great on your head. More importantly, the Mpow H19 IPO are very comfy to wear. With plenty of padding a lightweight design, you can rock the H19 IPO for hours on end without feeling any sort of fatigue.
Mpow promises up to 35 hours of battery life on the H19 IPO, along with active noise cancelation that can reduce background noise by up to 90%. There are also 40mm drivers for powerful audio, Bluetooth 5.0 for a strong wireless connection, and affordable pricing.
- Ridiculously comfortable
- ANC reduces noise up to 90%
- 40mm drivers for big audio
- Battery lasts 35 hours
- Two color options
- Mpow logo is pretty big
Mpow H19 IPO
- From $46 at Amazon
As comfy as can be
The best headphones are the ones you can wear for hours on end without any discomfort, and for this, Mpow delivers.
Best Surprise: Vankyo C751
Most of the brands on this list are fairly well-known in one way or another. Mpow and LETSCOM may not be household names, but they’re fairly synonymous in the world of cheap headphones. Then there are companies like Vankyo, which are mostly unknown and still manage to kick out excellent gadgets.
The Vankyo C751 likely wouldn’t be your first choice for cheap noise canceling headphones, but they deserve to be on your radar. It all starts with that active noise cancellation, which uses a hybrid model of feed-forward and feedback ANC. This cuts down ambient noise by 90%, meaning the feature is super effective. There are also 40mm drivers for powerful audio, with Vankyo talking up its rich bass performance.
You can expect up to 30 hours of continuous playback on the Vankyo C751, Bluetooth 5.0 is here, and the headphones fold up for easy transportation. Even better, Vankyo includes a free carrying bag to keep them protected in your backpack or suitcase.
- Hybrid ANC cuts noise down by 90%
- Big audio with powerful bass
- 30-hour battery
- Can be folded up
- Comes with a free carrying case
- Generic design
- $60 at Amazon
Into the unknown
Just because you haven’t heard of the Vankyo C751, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check ’em out. These are darn good headphones!
The market for noise-canceling headphones under $100 is larger than you might think, and while any of the picks on this list are deserving of our recommendation, we have to go with the Soundcore Life Q20 as our number one choice.
Simply said, these headphones do it all. They look good, sound great, and the noise-canceling works as well as you can ask for at this price. The 40-hour battery life is also incredible, not to mention that it’s made even better with the impressive fast charging feature.
You get all of this at a phenomenal price, coming in well less than the $100 limit.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Joe Maring is Android Central’s Senior Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He’s been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012 and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip? Send an email to [email protected]!